TOKYO — Roads are being closed off around Tokyo Olympic venues for the event scheduled to begin July 23.
With six weeks to go, the roadblocks are appearing around the new $1.4 billion National Stadium, which will host the opening ceremony.
This is a sign that Tokyo Olympic planners and the International Olympic Committee are moving forward despite public opposition and warnings about the risks of the games becoming a coronavirus spreader event. New infections rates are going down in Tokyo. But the city and other parts of Japan remain under a state of emergency until June 20.
New infections in Tokyo are down to around 500 cases a day from 1,000 a month ago. The number of hospitalizations and the seriously ill have decreased, but the levels are still higher than last fall when COVID-19 variants were not prevalent in Japan.
Last week, experts on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s pandemic panel said movement of people in central Tokyo had been rising for three weeks. They warned new infections could rebound if people continue to increase their mobility.
According to local organizers, some 11,090 Olympians are expected to enter Tokyo. Another 59,000 people will enter for the Olympics for a total of 70,090. They include: Olympic Broadcasting Service and other broadcasters (16,700); national Olympic committees (14,800); media (5,500); international sports federations (4,500); Olympic family (3,000) and others (14,500).
Japan has registered 13,500 confirmed deaths to the coronavirus.